A Vadnais Heights man has been cited for four misdemeanors after he left his muzzled dog in extreme heat for several hours during last week’s Rib Fest at Mystic Lake Casino.
Ty Ward Schultz, age 53, was cited for four misdemeanor counts of animal torture, animal cruelty, mistreatment of an animal and leaving an unattended animal in a motor vehicle.
Prior Lake Police and Shakopee Mdewakaton Fire and Conservation responded to reports the evening of July 26 that a dog was locked in a hot car. When officers arrived, a 9-month-old puppy was visible and appeared “basically dead” through a cracked window, according to Prior Lake Commander Brad Cragoe.
The National Weather Service said temperatures around the Twin Cities were about 80 degrees that afternoon and well into the evening.
Officers were able to enter the vehicle through the rolled window and access the dog. Responders administered oxygen and were able to get ice from the nearby Dakota Convenience Store to lower the animal’s body temperature. Cragoe said the incident report indicates the dog went blind during the day.
Eventually a Mdewakanton conservation officer drove the dog to the Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Eden Prairie for treatment. Cragoe said the vet reported that Schultz came to the hospital and removed the dog before the team could complete care.
There’s been no update on the dog’s health since it left the hospital. Calls to Blue Pearl were forwarded to a media liaison who didn’t respond by press time.
Cragoe said the responding officers found the incident “very disturbing” and consulted with statute books for a while before deciding on the citation.
“I don’t recall us or any of the other guys that I know dealing with one where the dog was unresponsive because it had been there so long,” Cragoe said. “This one was bad.”